Ottoman Kit

Observations and standards for 

82nd  Orta Janissaries home

Infantry Kit:


    - Light -medium wool broadcloth (probabally 90% of the time, especially when its the sole coat) or linsy-woolsy (or possibly sometimes linen) kaftan-cut inner coat , buttoned left over right ‘kaftan entari’ or Dolman or zibun.  The length seems to tend to below the knee to mid calf, but sometime dress uniforms are to the ankle.  Sometimes higher ranking or special function janissaries wear shorter caftans or vests, and sometimes with a kilt or fustenella.

Usually the upper arm seems full and the wrist narrow.

JanissaryCoatF4.JPG (112054 bytes)JanissaryCoatB.jpg (71550 bytes) The Janissary Uniform (inner caftan) .  

    - Wool overcoat with detachable sleeves, short sleeves,  or slit sleeves. Buttoned left over right through the fabric (usually, especially for common soldiers) or loop-buttoned or passamentre right over left (for officers).  ‘kaftan’ (this outer coat is optional, many, especially post 1650 miniatures show outer coats, but in the 16th C. single coats seemed more typical and seems common enough in the 1680s - this may well be a function of the season of the year - e.g. outer coats are worn in the cold months.)
    - Linen or cotton shirt, gusseted and long. ‘Gomlek’

    - Inner (or sole) kaftan is always – almost always - shown buttoned at the neck.  There is usually no sign of a shirt visible.

    - The outer coat is usually also buttoned, but there are at least occasional exceptions. The skirt of the sole or outer coat is usually up and  tucked into the sash from the inside.  At least one illustration shows it up and over from the outside, but inside seems more common.  Usually this is shown as very neatly done.

Jan1570.jpg (13235 bytes)


    - Baggy pants ‘salvar’ to below knee 

    or less baggy collets (like Venetians) to ankle, sometimes especially early (16th C. the pants seem fairly tight.  JSamsunc.jpg (122810 bytes)

Sometimes these are covered by a white fustenella (Greek style kilt); in which case the jacket is often shown somewhat short.

see the patterns page

Legging, Shoes, Boots  see the headgear and footwear page for more details

    - Sewn stockings/leggings  "Ran" -legging (not sure what exactly this is.  Sometime you see a garter just below the knee to hold up leggings or socks.) Or, a 

    -   Tatabiq leg wrap, cloth wrapped around the calf and foot like a sock.

   - Ankle boots or shoes ‘mest’, heels iron shod, with inner leather boot-socks Khuffs ; higher boots for some units ‘basmak’, or slippers ‘cedik’ with Khuff inner boots.

Head and Hat:    see the headgear and footwear page for more details

    - White felt 'Bork' hat with “spoon” for Janissary, Green Bosnian hat for Artillery. Various caps and low turbans for distaff and fatigue use.

    - Bork hat is usually shown tilted back off the forehead slightly.

    - Feather.  For parade formal review, and perhaps battle, ostrich, long pheasant or other feather can be inserted into the spoon – note that the spoon has a feather holder thoughtfully provided.

    - Fatigue cap (off duty or work cap, since the bork is only worn on-duty.)  A low Tarboush seem like the normal and easy choice, or tarbush –like cap or fez with a fairly low –profile turban.  A fez is also OK.  Any color except green, reserved for decedents of the prophet.

Tarbouch and turban cloths, khuffs, can be obtained from online Islamic supply vendors such as al Hannah.

    - Haircut: the norm seems to be shaved with a sort of cue on top, like Cossack.  Otherwise shaved or short.

Upper body accessories:

    - There is rarely evidence of a shoulder-strap hanging bag which may be for personal items or powder charges.  Sometimes there is a hanging powder or primer flask.

    - Inside the shirt , but hidden from view , there is probably a talismanic item or pouch.

Waist accessories:

    - Belt, leather often encased or worked heavily with metal.

    - Powder horn, usually highly curved ram but small cow is OK

    - belt with metal furniture and Leather belt-bag. Belt bag of bursa type is fairly typical– the belt passes through the bag, which is medium  sized (about big enough to put your two fists into it) and close to the waist.

    -  Sash – cloth that is about a 10”-12 inches wide and 3.5 times your waist lengths…. 9-10 feet.  folded in half, such that the edges are up (thus if you pressed a small sheathed knife or dropped a coin into the fold it would stay on the bottom of the fold).  Speculating… Each end is wrapped over and inside, from under back and again over and inside, thus finishing with a neat sort of twist or figure 8 –look.

    -  small knife for sash, kunjal short or up to 24 inches

    - Sword hangs from the belt or  a cord, but usually from the waist.  Examples of baldrics exist but are rare.

    - Swords are falcions, or more rarely Type III sabers or straight broad or backswords of medium length. seems like an OK inexpensive version

    - Priming flask, perhaps

    - Charges box – perhaps 

    - Other small items – oil bottle, ball bag…

    - Kerchief tucked in and hanging over.



•Heavy matchlock musket “fitilli tufenk”; or
•Szakallas (Hungarian) hook gun or hackenbuch
•Patilla or miquelet lock 
   –(Miquelet is Spanish mounted fusilier,
    –so this term would not have been used at that time

See the Firepower page


Cavalry Kit:

 Kaftans with loop buttons or passamentre, right over left.  Boots with heels

Turbans of various sort for gentlemen

Armor and other kit most typically that that of the Polish Pancerni cavalry.  (To be added to...)


Some Group Projects:

At the moment I am working on an Artilleryman's hat (Bizzaro Bosnian) and also another handful of Janissary hats.  Plus various minor fixes.

wpe67.jpg (33042 bytes) A target Interior

I like the details in this room.  How accurate?  I do not know. 

The panoply hanging from the wall (kalkan, saber, bow…),
the misurka and horse furniture on the tent pole, and stirrups below.
The lantern (which sometimes has the Orta symbol painted on it)
The Koran stand,
The low table, with cloth, with the cups and utensils.
The grand leather chest.
The carpets, pillows and wall hangings.

.wpe69.jpg (29921 bytes) This camp market scene may be inspirational

turkshop.jpg (62091 bytes)Arms Bazaar



The Costumes Of Ottoman Women

Ottoman Men